China hardened its language toward Taiwan by warning the island that “independence means war“. The statements come after the recent escalation of military activities near Taiwan.
“We warn those ‘Taiwan independence’ elements: those who play with fire will burn themselves, and ‘Taiwan independence’ means war,” said Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian.
Taiwan had previously reported the entry of Chinese fighters and bombers into its air defense identification zone. Washington then urged Beijing to stop putting pressure on Taiwan.
According to Wu Qian, “the military activities carried out by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in the Taiwan Strait are necessary actions to address the current security situation in the Taiwan Strait and to safeguard national sovereignty and security.”
“They are a solemn response to external interference and provocations by ‘Taiwan independence’ forces,” he added.
According to Reuters, although China has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control, it is unusual for Beijing to make such overt verbal threats of conflict.
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The arrival of Chinese J-10 fighters in the island’s air defense zone coincided with the entry of a US carrier battle group into the disputed South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas.”
Former US President Donald Trump increased support for the island in terms of arms sales and visits by senior officials to Taipei. In turn, the government of President Joe Biden reaffirmed that its commitment to Taiwan is “solid as a rock”, which could herald new tensions with Beijing.
China has repeatedly reiterated that the authorities in Beijing are “the only legitimate government that represents all of China,” as recognized by the international community, and has urged the US to respect the One-China policy.